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ADK Pioneers

Meet our Core Team & Ambassadors

Evan Williams

CHIEF PIONEER | Evan manages & oversees the day-to-day operation of the brand.

A native Adirondacker, Evan grew up with his family in Wilmington, NY. After moving away from the area, he always found he was drawn back to the mountains. Using his photo & video skills, he launched PureADK as an outdoor-focused blog to document his adventures revisiting the Adirondacks with his wife and adventure-companion, Hilary. Today, PureADK has evolved into a brand, including a product line and collection of ADK-inspired goods that area sold to people all over the place via their online shop. You can also follow Evan on Instagram.

Hilary Williams

ASSISTANT to the CHIEF PIONEER | Content writing, fulfillment, pop-up shops... you name it... Hilary does a little bit of everything behind the scenes.

Summers spent camping in the Adirondacks with family are some of Hilary’s fondest childhood memories. Those early Adirondack explorations definitely influenced the love of hiking, kayaking, and all things outdoors that she has now! The natural beauty of the mountains piqued her interest in diversity and biological sciences. This passion for the environment led her to a career in environmental consulting in Syracuse, NY. After a full week of working, she always looks forward to weekends spent camping out under the stars or breaking trails after a fresh snowfall. You can also follow Hilary on Instagram.


FURRY PIONEER | Lucy joined our family/team in September 2016. She's an adventurous mutt and has quite a personality. She loves snow, water, playing, and just being outdoors in general. We adopted her from Helping Hounds in Syracuse, NY and since she's become a huge part of our daily life and outdoor adventures around Upstate NY, the Adirondacks, and beyond. You can also follow along Lucy on Instagram.

Valerie Manne

COMMUNITY PIONEER | Day-to-day, Valerie manages our social accounts and interacts with our customers and many other ADK-enthusiasts.

She's also a designer, woodworker, and adventurer. Growing up as a Tupper Lake native, The Adirondacks have been the place she calls home even when living 3,000 miles away. Although she doesn't live inside the park boundaries currently, she's constantly following up with what's going on and living vicariously through other social accounts. You can also follow Valerie on Instagram.

Matt Strickland

SALES PIONEER | Matt heads up our wholesale business and key relationships with local retailer partners in the Adirondacks and Upstate NY.

Matt is a resident of the Adirondack Park. He's an avid hiker, skier, and paddler. Matt starts each morning petting his dog and two cats on the head and brewing a strong cup of black coffee. A graduate of SUNY Potsdam's Wilderness Education Program, Matt enjoys sharing his passion for the Adirondack Park with new visitors. Matt has spent time working as a guide for backpacking and canoe trips, employed at YMCA camps and is now a professional in the outdoor industry.

Chris May

CONTENT PIONEER | Chris helps with content development for our website, which include sharing trip reports and doing spotlights on local businesses and events.

Chris is a native of Western New York, growing up on a golf course and campground, ten minutes from Letchworth State Park. Chris discovered the Adirondacks when he studied at Clarkson University. He currently resides in Rochester, NY with his girlfriend, Cassara and two dogs, Luna and Waylon. He’s heavily involved in endurance sports in WNY as the Lead Timer for YellowJacket Racing. During his free time you will find him running, traveling, hiking, kayaking, and visiting the ADKs as much as possible. You can also find Chris on Instagram.

Manuel Palacios

PIONEER | Manuel (Manny) is a scientist and outdoor photographer based out of Upstate New York in the Mohawk River area. He spends most days and nights wandering around the beauty of the Adirondacks. For Manuel, landscape photography is not just a means to document moments, but a way to artistically interpret and feel landscapes. He loves pushing photography to its technical limits and enjoys teaching others how to get the most from their cameras.

Shane Garlock

PIONEER | Shane is a recent Paul Smiths College graduate and photographer of nature, located currently in the Adirondack Park. For Shane, photography is a way to challenge his own artistic abilities by trying to express the beauty of nature that he experiences by being outside. He feels that photography is a never-ending process of learning and evolving that everyone can learn to enjoy.

Alyssa Devlin

PIONEER | Alyssa is a freelance writer and MFA candidate in Poetry who grew up hiking and skiing the ‘dacks and is now based in Washington, DC. She spends her days fighting the heat with daydreams of swimming in cool Adirondack lakes. You can find her at

Tyler Merriam

PIONEER | Tyler is an outdoor recreation enthusiast based out of Saranac Lake, NY. He is passionate about the field of outdoor recreation, and spends his work time as a paddlesport outfitter, ski and snowboard technician, outdoor guide, and college educator. In his free time he loves to explore every corner of the Adirondacks by foot, boat, bike, or ski, including locations little known to others. Tyler is excited to share his love for the Adirondacks with residents and visitors alike, and hopes that his trips inspire everyone to get outdoors and immerse themselves in the natural and cultural landscape of the Adirondacks.

Geoff & Emily

PIONEERS | Geoff, a software engineer, and Emily, a radiation therapist, spend their free time playing in the peaks & valleys of the park. The mountains are what brought them together, where they got married, and where they now reside. Whether it be reaching their next mountain conquest, paddling the streams & lakes that lay in between, cross country skiing new trails, mountain biking or exploring with their rescue dog, Janet, this is the place where they truly feel at home. They always enjoy finding the best local restaurants & pubs and seeing who has the best brew selection in the area.

Patrick Bly

PIONEER | Pat is a SUNY Plattsburgh where he studied Ecology. A native of the Adirondacks, he quickly became fascinated by his surroundings. The diversity and incredible landscapes left him with a passion for understanding the natural world. He is an avid hiker, snowboarder, adventurer and photographer. Pat also spends his summers working for the DEC where he teaches kids about the environment and conservation.

Kevin Lenhart

PIONEER | Kevin is a Saranac Lake native, currently residing in Onchiota. Kevin works as a property care taker and maintains a historic camp in the Adirondacks. He has spent the majority of his life living in the Adirondack Park. Kevin is from a family of outdoor enthusiasts who raised him hiking, camping and paddling the Adirondacks. He is a self taught photographer of almost 10 years. Kevin has spent many years exploring the Adirondacks and is extremely knowledgeable on the backcountry, mountains and bodies of water in the High Peaks region.

Bryce Laduc

PIONEER | Bryce can usually be found hiking with her two rescue dogs around the Pacific Northwest. Having spent many year exploring the Adirondacks, the park instilled a sense of adventure in her that stays with her to this day. For PureADK, she still helps contribute to the website and social media by sharing her past experiences in the ADKs. She's also a great tour guide if you're ever looking to explore the PNW!

David Skibinski

PIONEER | Dave is a former flat-lander who traded in the glass cubes of NYC for the mountains and streams of the Adirondacks. He is a whitewater raft guide on the Hudson River and hosts visitors at this lodge, the Llama House. Dave's main passionate is discovering new corners of the Adirondacks and sharing them with fellow explorers.

Nick LaScala

PIONEER | A New Jersey native with deep roots in the Adirondack communities, Nick has visited, lived, worked, and most importantly, played in the Adirondack Park. He is a NYS certified whitewater rafting, hiking, and camping guide. He's also active in the Indian Lake community, acting as a member of the Revitalization Committee. At the moment, he's attending Clarkson University where he studies marketing and continues to spend a lot of his free time recreating in the Adirondacks.

Pioneer Outings

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